- Gloria (4:14)
- I Fall Down (3:39)
- I Threw a Brick Through a Window (4:54)
- Rejoice (3:37)
- Fire (3:51)
- Tomorrow (4:39)
- October (2:21)
- With a Shout (Jerusalem) (4:02)
- Stranger in a Strange Land (3:56)
- Scarlet (2:53)
- Is that All? (2:59)
In 1981, U2 experienced a bit of a spiritual awakening. Bono and Edge left the band temporarily to join a religious sect called the ‘Shalom Fellowship’. Admittedly, the band have since confessed the pressure they were under to record October. October is filled with themes of adolescent angst, although not quite as edgy and seems even less polished than Boy. There are plenty of fillers on this album, both in terms of in-parts within the songs and few songs themselves not up to scratch altogether.
The opening track ‘Gloria’ is actually quite a good song, full of the energy that was prevalent on Boy. ‘I Fall Down’ is the start of a few songs that make prominent use of the Piano. While it sounds a bit out of place here, it at least shows they are ready to experiment with other instruments. After all they did manage to master the piano as lead on their hit single ‘New Year’s Day’ on War.
Speaking of other instruments, Uilleann pipes are on show in ‘Tomorrow’, a song about Bono’s mother’s funeral. Most of the songs on this album show great potential, but we are let down either by really poor song structure or just pointless lyrics. ‘I Threw a Brick through a Window’ and ‘With a Shout (Jerusalem)’ are two such songs. The lyrics of these two songs are abstract and simplistic, while both stretching out too long. They feature a lot of fill-in drumming which serve no real purpose.
The most beautiful song on the album is actually not really a proper song- the nearly wordless ‘Scarlet’. It is unfortunate that this wasn’t developed into a full song, as it contained a perfect platform for a ballad. All the instruments just mesh in perfect unity leading to a fitting climax .The album ends on a good note, with the song ‘Is that All’ and makes us wonder why the rest of October isn’t fueled with the same passion.
Nothing from October really stands out at all (maybe except ‘Gloria’) and lacks real energy, passion or youthful enthusiasm of Boy. However it is an album of completely different undertones of spirituality and religion. The main problem with this album is that it is neither here nor there. There’s a little bit of experimentation, some songs with great potential- the template is there to make a good album. Admittance from the band that they were under pressure suggested a lot of the songs were rushed- such is the completely pointless title track ‘October’. All of which is a real shame, alas it’s just an average album. 6/10
How would you rate U2′s October album? Rate and leave a comment below.